Sloppy India play draw with Britain

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Apr 2017 09:33:55


IPOH (Malaysia),


Squander lead twice to split points in opener

INDIA squandered the lead twice as Great Britain rallied to earn a 2-2 draw in the rain-delayed opening match at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here.
Akashdeep Singh (19th minute) and Mandeep Singh (48th minute) scored field goals to give India the lead two times in the match but only to see the Britons hit back through Tom Carson (25th) and Alan Forsyth (52nd).


India survived a last-minute penalty corner that was awarded against them for an obstruction outside the circle.
The match started two hours behind schedule after the teams, who were warming up, had to scurry off the turf when lightening and heavy showers arrived in the afternoon.


Heavy showers and lightening have been a feature of the tropical weather this season Since the introduction of artificial pitches, hockey is no longer affected by normal rains, but matches are stopped midway at the slightest sign on lightening to avert any threat to players and officials on the pitch.


As the Indian and British players ran off the pitch and the start of the game was deferred, organisers were bracing for frequent disruptions during the week-long tournament.
Great Britain launched the first raid in the ninth minute and Henry Weir took a reverse shot at the goal from top of the circle, only to see goalkeeper PR Sreejesh pad the ball away. In other matches of the evening, Japan rallied to hold hosts Malaysia 1-1 while defending champions Australia were held to a 1-1 draw by New Zealand.


Oltmans not happy with India’s performance INDIA’S hockey coach Roelant Oltmans is unhappy that his strikers created very few scoring opportunities in the 2-2 draw against Great Britain.


“Overall, I can live with the result, but I am not happy about the number of goal-scoring opportunities we created in the game,” Oltmans said.


“We made a couple of unnecessary mistakes that they took benefit of. Otherwise, we defended fairly well in the whole match and conceded only one penalty corner. I think we can play much better than we did. But this is the first match with this combination and also the first since November,” he said.